Bread and Puppet Museum opens June 7

File photo, taken at the Bread and Puppet Museum in Glover.

File photo, taken at the Bread and Puppet Museum in Glover.

As they have each spring for the past 40 years, the double doors of the old Dopp Farm in Glover will swing open at 2 p.m. on June 7 to mark the opening of the 2015 season of the Bread and Puppet Museum.

Burt Porter, a musician and poet, will welcome guests to the farm on Route 122 in Glover as he did for the museum’s inaugural season in 1975. Mr. Porter has had a long association with Bread and Puppet, performing in many circuses and pageants and writing texts and lyrics for shows including The Same Boat: The Passion of Chico Mendes (1989); The City of Brotherly Love (1998); Crows and Angels: Christmas Sonnets (1993); and, for this summer’s pageant, The Comet.

In addition to Mr. Porter’s music, the day’s activities, which will last until 5 p.m., will include Sacred Harp songs from the early American shape note tradition, short shows by local artists including poet Meredith Holch, Clare Dolan, founder and director of the Museum of Everyday Life in Glover, the Modern Times Theater, Adam Cook and Hayley Lewis, and Tom Azarian.

As always, puppeteer and baker Peter Schumann will provide plenty of fresh sourdough rye bread topped with aioli, a pungent garlic spread.

At 4 p.m. the touring company of the Bread and Puppet Theater, fresh from a two-week Northeast tour, will give a performance of the most recent version of Public Access Center for the Obvious in the Dirt Floor Theater.

All events are free to the public, although donations are always welcome.

Those who wish to know more about Bread and Puppet’s summer activities and opportunities to participate in them can stay for an informational meeting at 5 p.m.

What is now a puppet museum crammed from floor to ceiling with a mysterious multitude of figures and faces, was once a working barn. Where once sturdy workhorses hauled wagons piled high with hay, today stand puppets of all sizes, shapes, and colors.

Bread and Puppet moved to the farm in 1974 after four productive years as theater-in-residence at Goddard College in Plainfield. The transformation of the barn involved raking and sweeping a hundred years’ worth of chaff and debris from its 100-foot by 45- foot main floor into a huge stack near the entrance.

Once the barn was cleaned, puppeteers arranged puppets, masks, and painted curtains into scenes conveying themes and stories to visitors.

During the winter the museum is closed while the company works on new shows and tours. But each spring the museum undergoes its annual spiff-up in preparation for welcoming summer guests.

The museum is open daily until November 1 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and after shows. It is located on Route 122 off Route 16 and Interstate exits 24 and 25.

For more information please go to www.breadandpuppet.org. — from Bread and Puppet.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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Les Misérables comes to Orleans

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Katie Kelly, playing the young Cosette, sings “Castle on a Cloud” in the first act of Les Misérables.  The show was put together as part of the Vermont Family Theatre.  Photos by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Katie Kelly, playing the young Cosette, sings “Castle on a Cloud” in the first act of Les Misérables. The show was put together as part of the Vermont Family Theatre. Photos by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle May 6, 2015

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

ORLEANS — The cast of Vermont Family Theatre’s Les Misérables nailed the opening night of their show on Friday, remembering every line and singing every note.

Friday was the first of a three-day run of the show, put together by Artistic Director Karen Perry.

It was obvious that all the actors loved the show and gave it their all. The choruses were excellent and very effective, moving the story forward and making hearts race.

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At LR Rocks: Live experience cultures young performers

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April Streeter shows off the electric guitar she played live for the first time.  Photos by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

April Streeter shows off the electric guitar she played live for the first time. Photos by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle February 25, 2015

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

COVENTRY — April Streeter, 15, is no stranger to singing in public, but Saturday night’s LR Rocks showcase at Parker Pie Wings did include a first for her — a whirl on the electric guitar in front of a live audience.

“It’s kind of a rush,” she said. “It’s really fun to get up there. The energy is really great, especially in places like this.”

Parker Pie Wings had set up the concert venue on one side of its bar. The smaller space created a packed atmosphere for the 100 people in attendance.

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Are We Crazy About Our Kids? January 29

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WEB NCCC movie

Image courtesy of the Building Bright Futures council

The film Are We Crazy About Our Kids? will air at the North Country Career Center in Newport on Thursday, January 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in room 380. A panel discussion will follow, and a light meal will be provided.

Economists are worried about how much we spend on early care and education in America — not because we spend too much, but because we spend too little. Are We Crazy About Our Kids? explores how investments in high quality, early care and preschool yield huge personal and social benefits, and pay for themselves many times over.

RSVP at www.surveymonkey.com/s/GMVTPRD. — from the Orleans and Northern Essex Building Bright Futures council.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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In Glover: Santa comes to town, in a fire truck

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Alex Young of Glover attempts to toss a miniature wreath on one of the tines of a ten-point buck painted by Lorie Seadale.  Photos by David Dudley

Alex Young of Glover attempts to toss a miniature wreath on one of the tines of a ten-point buck painted by Lorie Seadale. Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle December 17, 2014

by David Dudley

GLOVER — The fire station here was packed with children and their parents Saturday night waiting for Santa to arrive. Though Mr. Claus was late — apparently due to problems with his sled — there were still lots of things to do at the tenth annual Ride a Fire Truck with Santa, held by the Glover Volunteer Fire Department.

But nobody had to remind the children not to pout or cry. They were in the mood to make merry.

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Twelfth annual Vermont State Dance Festival November 22

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Twelfth annual Vermont State Dance Festival November 22

Twelfth annual Vermont State Dance Festival November 22

A long-standing performing arts tradition continues as Lyndon Institute (LI) welcomes dancers from Vermont and throughout New England for the twelfth annual Vermont State Dance Festival on Saturday, November 22.

The Festival brings together hundreds of dance professionals and students to lead and participate in professional-level dance workshops for a variety of styles and techniques as well as collaborate in the reflective process in preparation for an evening performance open to the public

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Toussaint and Preservation Hall Jazz Band October 21

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Allen Toussaint will perform with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in St. Johnsbury on October 21.  Photo courtesy of Kingdom County Productions

Allen Toussaint will perform with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in St. Johnsbury on October 21. Photo courtesy of Kingdom County Productions

Kingdom County Productions will present the exclusive northern New England production of “Legends of New Orleans Jazz” featuring rhythm-and-blues ace and six-time Grammy nominee Allen Toussaint joining forces with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the first time, on tour. Showtime is 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21, at Fuller Hall, at St. Johnsbury Academy. Tickets are on sale at kingdomcounty.org or by calling 748-2600.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has toured the world since its founding in the early 1960s, as the essential vehicle to keep traditional New Orleans jazz traditions alive. During recent years, the band has played 150 annual dates at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl. And they have branched out to ensure a future as a living and breathing group driven by fresh influences and inspirations, adding a number of dynamic new musical directions to their rock-solid repertoire of the classic New Orleans style.

Preservation Hall has appeared on stage with artists ranging from Dr. John, Wynton Marsalis, and the Grateful Dead, to The Black Keys, Bonnie Raitt, and Tom Waits. In an Oval Office White House ceremony, the group was awarded the 2006 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence. In 2010, the San Francisco Examiner called Preservation Hall, “the best jazz band in the land.”

Mr. Toussaint ranks as a key figure in the development of R&B, and his songs have been recorded by a staggering array of artists including Otis Redding, Phish, Boz Skaggs, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Aaron Neville, The Doors, Glenn Campbell, Warren Zevon, The Yardbirds, Jerry Garcia, Paul Butterfield, Derek Trucks Band, Ringo Starr, Trombone Shorty, Three Dog Night, and The Hollies. Other collaborations include The Band, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Bo Diddley, Levon Helm, Robert Plant, and Alison Krauss. Mr. Toussaint’s many awards and recognitions include his 1998 induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

“When I meet someone like Allen Toussaint — that for me is like meeting, you know, someone the equivalent of the Dalai Lama, because for me, he influenced the way I played the piano,” said Elton John. “He’s an historical part of rock-and-roll.”

For more information, visit kingdomcounty.org or contact series producer Jay Craven at jcraven@marlboro.edu. — from Kingdom County Productions.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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In Charleston: Sixty years of oysters

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Stewmaster Darald Moulton followed a tried and true recipe Saturday at the Charleston Fire Department’s sixtieth annual oyster stew supper.  Photo by Paul Lefebvre

Stewmaster Darald Moulton followed a tried and true recipe Saturday at the Charleston Fire Department’s sixtieth annual oyster stew supper. Photo by Paul Lefebvre

copyright the Chronicle October 8, 2014

by Paul Lefebvre

Sixty years ago a photograph was published of Marilyn Monroe standing over a New York City sidewalk register whose hot air lifted her skirt higher up her legs than anyone expected to see.

Sixty years ago Elvis the Pelvis recorded his first hit, “That’s all Right,” a song sung in such a seductive voice that it went beyond ballistic as soon as people saw him perform it.

And 60 years ago, the volunteer firemen of Charleston held their first fund-raiser, an oyster stew supper that has gone on to become an annual event in a region known for its chicken pie suppers and strawberry shortcake.

How to explain the popularity of oyster stew in landlocked country nearly half a day’s drive from the ocean?

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Old Stone House Cheese and Apple Tasting September 28

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Light hits the morning fog at Crystal Lake in Barton.      Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

Light hits the morning fog at Crystal Lake in Barton.
Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

Celebrate fall and food at the Old Stone House Museum’s annual Cheese and Apple Tasting on Sunday, September 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be held in and around the Samuel Read Hall House, which is the big gold house on the corner of Old Stone House Road and the Hinman Settler Road in Brownington. Visitors will be able to taste and purchase locally produced cheeses and other dairy products, apples, maple products, honey, smoked meat, baked goods, spirits, wine and beers, and more.

There will be over 30 varieties of heirloom apples, sliced up on plates, to sample. The museum apple press will be grinding and pressing apples all day, and serving up cups of the sweet essence of the apple harvest. There will be a “Good Ole Apple Pie” contest at 2 p.m. Besides bragging rights, the winner will take home a hand forged pie spatula made by Courtney Mead at the Moffat Forge, the Old Stone House Museum’s teaching blacksmith shop. And there will be an apple chomp contest where kids are challenged to take a bite of an apple dangling from a string in mid-air, which is quite an amusing spectator sport.

The event also includes an heirloom vegetable exhibit. People are invited to bring in old varieties of vegetables they have grown from heirloom seeds, along with the name and story behind the variety. The museum will be selling raffle tickets for a cord of dry maple firewood, for $5 a ticket, with only 100 tickets sold per drawing, and a winner will be drawn during the afternoon. The Brownington Ladies Aid will serve a lunch of hot soup and bread, as well as hot coffee and rhubarb punch in the parlor of the Hall House.

Admission to the Cheese and Apple Tasting is $8, but free for those over 90, under 12, or for people who bring an apple pie for the contest or an heirloom vegetable, with the story behind it, for the exhibit. Admission includes a free self-guided tour of the first floor of the Old Stone House Museum, with the new special photography exhibit “Newport Now and Then.”

For more information, call the museum at 754-2022, or visit oldstonehousemuseum.org. — from the Old Stone House Museum.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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Compete in Newport’s Scarecrow Contest September 20

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The Brown Cow’s 2013 entry in the Scarecrow Contest to be held during Newport’s Fall Foliage Festival.

The Brown Cow’s 2013 entry in the Scarecrow Contest to be held during Newport’s Fall Foliage Festival.

The Newport Fall Foliage Festival Scarecrow Contest is expected to add a lot of fun to this year’s festival.  Families and businesses will make scarecrows and place them outside their homes, businesses and along Newport’s Main Street.

Prizes will be awarded for the Most Traditional, Most Creative, and Most Colorful in both the Business and Family categories.  Prizes have been donated by the Newport Daily Express and radio station Moo 92. Greens fees and golf passes at area golf courses will be given courtesy of the newspaper, and an advertising certificate will be given courtesy of the radio station, in the business category. Families will compete for the prize of a Moo 92 Pizza Party.

Contest rules and an entry form are available online at NewportFallFoliageFestival.com. Both businesses and families should pre-register to make sure their scarecrows are judged. Judging will take place Saturday, September 20, with the winners announced on Moo 92 during its broadcast from the festival and on Monday in the Newport Daily Express.

For more information on the Scarecrow Contest or the Newport Fall Foliage Festival schedule of events, go to NewportFallFoliageFestival.com, or write event coordinators at NewportLive@Live.com.  — from Newport Live.

For more things to do, see our Events page.

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